The creation of a Palestinian state alongside Israel would be a major step in the escalation of the Arab war against Israel even if the resumption of that war is delayed for a brief time while the world celebrates the outbreak of a Potemkin peace in the Middle East, produced by the end of Israeli “occupation” of Palestinians.
Like the famous Potemkin villages that were all fa?ade with no substance, the two-state solution would prove to be nothing more than the signal of the commencement of the next Middle East war.
Human beings seem to have a basic impatience with hearing the truth repeated over long periods of time. In an era in which technology, politics, and science change so rapidly, many consider it implausible that a statement that was true years ago can still be true today.
Surely, they insist, explanations from the past, such as those pertaining to the Middle East conflict, must be obsolete by now, replaced with new updated theories and contemporary perceptions of reality.
No subject has fallen victim to quite so much pseudo-historic revisionism and denial of “out-of date” truths as the Middle East. George Orwell said the first duty of intelligent men is to restate the obvious. Obvious truths about the Middle East need to be restated because they are under assault by so many dishonest men.
We hear so often that the Middle East conflict is mind-numbingly complex. This is a false notion. Actually, the Middle East conflict is extraordinarily simple to understand. Its causes and issues have not changed at all in 60 years. That which produced the first Arab-Israeli war in 1948 is exactly the same thing that stands in the way of any real peace settlement today.
There is one – and only one – cause of the Arab-Israeli conflict, even if that single cause is buried beneath an avalanche of media mud designed to obfuscate and confuse. That single cause is the refusal of the Arab world to come to terms with Israel’s existence within any set of borders whatsoever.
* * *
The Middle East conflict is not about the right of self-determination of Palestinian Arabs, but rather about the total Arab rejection of self-determination for Israeli Jews.
The Arabs today control 22 countries and territory nearly twice the size of the United States (including Alaska), whereas Israel cannot even be seen on most globes or maps. Arabs as an ethnic group control more territory than any other ethnic group on earth. And they refuse to share even a fraction of one percent of the Middle East with the Jews, in a territory smaller than New Jersey.
Without the West Bank, Israel at its narrowest is not even 10 miles wide, about the length of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge. The main reason the Arab world demands that Israel relinquish the West Bank is so that it can be used to attack Israel.
The Arab world controls such vast amounts of territory and such vast amounts of wealth (thanks to petroleum) that it could have created a homeland for Palestinian Arabs anywhere within its territories at any time.
From 1948 until 1967 the West Bank and the Gaza Strip were both under the rule of Arab states (Jordan and Egypt, respectively). They could easily have set up a Palestinian homeland in those areas. They did not.
The fact is, no Palestinians before 1967 demanded any “homeland,” though they did demand that the Jews be stripped of theirs. This is because Palestinians are not a “people” at all, at least as far as the term has been understood throughout human history.
Until relatively recent times, Palestinians never had any real interest in their own state, and in fact rioted violently in 1920 when the geographical entity called Palestine was detached from Syria by the European powers.
Indeed, the term “nakba” (“catastrophe” in Arabic and in leftist newspeak), used exclusively now to refer to the creation of Israel, actually was coined to refer to the outrage expressed by Palestinians separated from their Syrian homeland.
* * *
Immediately after the Six-Day War, a sudden need for a Palestinian state was fabricated by the Arab world as a gimmick to force Israel back to its pre-1967 borders. The Arab world began agitating for a Palestinian state so that the Palestinians could serve the same role the Sudeten Germans did in the late 1930s. That role was to provide a pretense of legitimacy for the war aims and aggression of a large fascist power.
The term “self-determination” has been repeated as a rhetorical inalienable right for so long that few people recall now that pursuing self-determination can also serve as a tool of aggression on the part of barbarous aggressors and totalitarian powers.
When Hitler decided to embark on a war of conquest in the late 1930s, he dressed up his intentions in the cloak of legitimacy, claiming he was merely interested in “helping disenfranchised and oppressed people attain self-determination.” He distorted the plight of ethnic Germans living in the Czech Sudetenland and elsewhere in Eastern Europe, inventing tales of their oppression and mistreatment.
In reality, of course, these ethnic Germans already had the option of self-determination within the neighboring sovereign German nation-states, and in fact enjoyed far more freedom and rights than did Germans inside Germany.
Germany’s invasion of Czechoslovakia was prepared through postured indignity over the mistreatment of Germans by Germany’s neighbors. Hitler insisted he was simply seeking to relieve the “misery of mistreated ethnic Germans,” supposedly suffering inside democratic Czechoslovakia.
“Self-determination” was also the pretense when Germany attacked Poland and other countries.
Like Germany before World War II, the Arab world used the method of the Big Lie, with its infinite and mindless repetitions, to invent a fairy tale about Palestinians being mistreated and oppressed by Israel.
The reality is that Arabs living under Israeli rule have always been treated considerably better than Arabs living under Arab regimes, and infinitely better than non-Arab minorities living under Arab regimes.
Jimmy Carter has it completely backward: Israel is the only country in the Middle East that is not an apartheid regime.
Arabs living under Israeli rule are the only Arabs in the Middle East who enjoy freedom of speech and press; free access to courts operating with due process; legal protection for property rights; and the right to vote. And Israeli Arabs have higher standards of education and health than any other group of Arabs in the Middle East.
But then, the Sudeten Germans were never really oppressed either. Israeli Arabs are quite simply the best-treated political minority in the Middle East and are in some ways better treated than minority groups in many European countries.
Israel is the only country in the Middle East that does not deal with Islamist terror through wholesale massacres of the people in whose midst the terrorists operate. The number of innocent Palestinian civilians intentionally killed by Israel is exactly zero. The number of civilians injured in Israeli anti-terror operations is tiny when compared with NATO and Allied military operations in Serbia, Bosnia, Afghanistan, or Iraq.
* * *
The world media, which know even less about the Middle East than they do about other parts of the globe, swallow the anti-Israel disinformation with gusto. And so, as was the case in the late 1930s, a campaign of genocidal aggression enjoys near-universal political support among those who have been snookered into thinking that the Middle East conflict has something to do with “self-determination” and statehood for mistreated Palestinians.
The real goal of the Arab aggressors, as they readily concede to anyone willing to listen, is nothing less than Israel’s extermination. And those who think the state of Israel can be eliminated without a second Holocaust taking place are deluding themselves.
The endless complaints about “human rights violations” by Israel against the Palestinians are a rhetorical part of the broader campaign of aggression against Israeli survival. Arabs living under Israeli rule are the world’s foremost illustration of “Moynihan’s Law,” which holds: “The amount of violations of human rights in a country is always an inverse function of the amount of complaints about human rights violations heard from there. The greater the number of complaints being aired, the better protected are human rights in that country.”
Given the wide support among Palestinians for terrorist atrocities against Jews, the self-restraint and moderation used by Israel in dealing with the threat has no precedent in the world. Israel’s own Arabs make little attempt to hide their open identification with the genocidal enemies of their own country and they by and large support the annihilation of the state in which they hold citizenship.
No other democratic country facing such open sedition and identification with the enemy in time of war ever responded with anywhere near the restraint shown by Israel.
In World War II, when faced with a far less dangerous problem, the United States locked up its ethnic Japanese population in internment camps. Democratic Spain set up teams of death squads to deal with its separatist terrorists. Democracies in war have junked habeas corpus and treated their internal fifth columns as the enemy, with no hesitation or squeamishness.
Democratic Czechoslovakia and India (as well as non-democratic countries throughout Eastern Europe) undertook wholesale expulsions of millions of members of their internal ethnic minorities who had sided with the enemy. Greece and Turkey and the two sections of Cyprus simply expelled their minority populations altogether.
Israel, in contrast, operates affirmative action programs that benefit Arabs; finances Arabic-language schools in which Israeli Arabs preserve and develop their culture; funds Arab municipalities; and turns a blind eye to massive Arab sedition and lawbreaking, including illegal squatting on publicly owned lands.
It is hard to come up with the words needed to mock the ludicrous nature of the complaints about Israeli mistreatment of Arabs. These complaints come from the very people who are apologists for genocidal Islamofascist terrorist movements and for Arab fascist states, regimes that are among the most barbarous and oppressive on earth.
Israel even agreed in principle, foolishly as it turns out, to recognize the legitimacy of Palestinian national ambitions and to relinquish lands to the Palestinian Authority. What it got in exchange was a genocidal fascist Hamastan on its borders, with other terrorist militias operating in the suburbs of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem.
Since the Oslo “peace process” began in the early 1990s, the working hypothesis endorsed by nearly everyone on the planet (including large numbers of IQ-challenged Israeli politicians) has been that the most urgent task at hand is to end the Israeli “occupation” of Palestinian Arabs.
The problem is that any Palestinian state, regardless of who rules it, will produce nothing but escalated violence, terror and warfare in the Middle East, certainly not stability or peaceful relations. It will seek war with Israel and will attempt to draw the entire Muslim world into that war. It will be indifferent to the economic and social problems of its own citizens.
The Israeli left and its amen chorus in the international media have been repeating for so many years that the ultimate cause of Palestinian terrorism and Arab grievances is the “occupation” of “Palestinian lands” by Israel that few are capable any longer of thinking about that assertion critically. But the assertion is wrong. The main cause of anti-Israel terrorism today is the removal of Israeli occupation from Palestinian Arabs.
This is so obvious that it is a major intellectual challenge to explain why so few people understand it, but here are the facts:
Israel ended its occupation of the Gaza Strip in its entirety in 2005 and evicted all the Jews who had been living there. The Israeli withdrawal produced a barrage of many thousands of rockets aimed at Israeli civilians inside Israel (not the “occupied territories” that, we are told, are at the heart of Arab anger with Israel) – a barrage that eventually forced Israel’s reluctant leaders to carry out a full-scale operation against Gaza terrorism earlier this year.
The Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon was unilaterally ended in 2000 by then-Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Barak. The direct result of that fiasco was the launching of 4,000 Katyusha rockets from Lebanon against northern Israel in the summer of 2006 – and several times that number now poised to strike Israel.
The worst waves of Palestinian suicide attacks were directly triggered by the early Oslo withdrawals – before which there had been no suicide bombings.
There can be no doubt that a complete Israeli withdrawal from the West Bank and a return to pre-1967 borders in order to make way for a Palestinian state would trigger a massive rocket and terror assault against the remaining areas of Israel, launched from the “liberated” West Bank. The same thing would result from Israel relinquishing the Golan Heights to Syria.
The promotion of a “two states for two peoples” solution has radicalized most Israeli Arabs, who now identify with and openly support Arab parties and politicians calling for violence against Jews and the destruction of Israel. Even the “moderate” factions within the PLO keep insisting that after such a plan is implemented they will never recognize the right of Jews to have their own state anywhere in the Middle East.
The Arabs still condition any two-state solution on Israel agreeing to being flooded with Arab immigrants purporting to be Palestinians, so that it will morph demographically into the 24th Arab state.
That such a two-state Potemkin solution will not end the conflict, but only signal the commencement of its next stage, has long been the quasi-official position of virtually all Palestinian groups.
The Palestinians tell each other, in their newspapers, their mosques and their internal political debates, that any two-state solution is but a stage in a “plan of stages,” after which will come additional steps ultimately aimed at ending Israel’s existence as a Jewish state.
Why shouldn’t we believe them?
Steven Plaut, a frequent contributor to The Jewish Press, is a professor at the University of Haifa. His book “The Scout” is available at Amazon.com. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.